ADD2262 Register of specialist older persons and accessible housing

Type of decision: 
Assistant Director's decision
Code: 
ADD2262
Date signed: 
03 September 2018
Decision by: 
Juliemma McLoughlin, Assistant Director of Planning

Executive summary

This project will help to ensure that older and disabled Londoners are aware of the new homes being developed so that they can make better informed decisions about their housing options. The project will make the following information on planning consents publicly accessible from the point of launch:

• Level of M4(2) Accessible and adaptable dwellings provided within a development
• Level of M4(3) Wheelchair user dwellings provided within a development
• Specialist older persons housing developments

Using information from the GLA’s London Development Database (LDD), the register will sit on the London.gov website and will enable members of the public to easily access and filter planning data by location and type of housing, with results being displayed in map and table form.

This project will be led by the London Plan team, working with and involving Housing and Land Directorate and Digital Team (external affairs) colleagues, and work will be undertaken in-house as much as possible however external services will need to be procured, which will be handled by TfL Commercial with the input of the Digital Team, once approval for this project has been granted.

Decision

That the Assistant Director of Planning approves:

Expenditure of £40,000 to fund the development of the register of specialist older persons and accessible housing.

Part 1: Non-confidential facts and advice

Introduction and background

The Mayor is committed to increasing the supply of homes in London and, within this, to increase the supply of accessible homes, including homes for disabled people, wheelchairs users and older people. There is scope to considerably enhance the information available to people looking for accessible and/or specialist older persons housing. The current lack of information can result in people in need of an accessible home not being able to find one, and accessible homes being created but not occupied by people who specifically require one. For example, less than a quarter (23 per cent) of wheelchair user social or affordable rented homes let in London in 2016-17 were allocated to households containing a wheelchair user, and under two thirds of wheelchair users allocated a home during that year moved into a wheelchair accessible property.

This project will help to ensure that older and disabled Londoners are aware of the new homes being developed so that they can make better informed decisions about their housing options. The project will make the following information on planning consents publicly accessible from the point of launch:

• Level of M4(2) Accessible and adaptable dwellings provided within a development
• Level of M4(3) Wheelchair user dwellings provided within a development
• Specialist older persons housing developments

Using information from the GLA’s London Development Database (LDD), the register will sit on the London.gov website and will enable members of the public to easily access and filter planning data by location and type of housing, or search for it on a map.

This project will be led by the London Plan team, working with and involving Housing and Land Directorate and Digital Team (external affairs) colleagues.

Phases

The project will span two phases

Phase 1

Delivery of:

a) A database to hold data on accessible housing obtained from the LDD
b) An API to draw data from LDD to the database
c) A webpage on London.gov containing a search tool to allow people to search for housing with data filtered by:

- “all London” or a choice of radius to a specified postcode or by borough
- type of unit by age restricted older persons or non-age restricted (i.e. not specialist older persons housing)
- tenure (for older persons accommodation only)
- accessible housing standard whether; M4(2) accessible and adaptable or M4(3) wheelchair user dwellings (with the facility to in the future search for 2 types of M4(3) dwellings- wheelchair accessible or wheelchair adaptable dwellings once new London Plan is adopted and LDD data amended accordingly)

Displaying the data in map and in tabular form showing:
- planning application reference number
- the number of dwellings of each type (M4(2), M4(3), specialist older persons)
- the % of dwellings of each type
- who to contact for more information (usually the developer)
- Link/ button to copy info to clipboard

d) Print out options for the above

Phase 2

Delivery of:

e) Function to allow people to subscribe for email updates / notifications when a new location is added
f) Ability for developers/ providers to update entry on specific developments by availability or completion date including photos
g) Amend 1c) and 1d) to allow search or filter by additional information provided in 2f)

Timescales:

- Phase 1 delivered by 1 November 2018
- Phase 2 delivered by 1 November 2019

Objectives and expected outcomes

This project aims to create a system which, through the provision of information (via data which already exists), effectively increases the level of housing choice for disabled and older Londoners making it easier to identify dwellings which are relevant to their current or future requirements.

Adopted (3.8 housing choice) and draft (D5 Accessible housing) London Plan policy requirements ensure the creation of:

• M4(2) Accessible and adaptable dwellings
• M4(3) Wheelchair user dwellings

These policies aim to increase choice for Londoners who require accessible housing. However, many people will be unaware of these policy requirements, what they mean in practice i.e. what accessible features or what space will be required within the home due to these standards, and, once they have identified which accessible housing standard best suits their requirements, how to access these types of housing.

This project will support the practical application of London Plan policy requirements for accessible housing, braise the public’s awareness of such housing, helping the public access it. and providing the developers creating this housing with reassurance that a tool exists to help people who need it, find it.

Adopted (3.8 housing choice) and draft (H15 Specialist older persons housing) London Plan policies contain requirements and indicative borough benchmark figures for the provision of specialist older persons housing. Again, people looking for specialist older persons housing may not know where to find it or get information on provision or planned future provision in an area. This project will assist people by highlighting what developments have planning consent, and the developers/ providers responsible for this.

Those looking for specialist older persons housing are also likely to benefit from the register’s data on the level and type of accessible housing which will be provided in a specific older persons housing development, and the information it will provide on what this means in terms of feature and space to ensure they are making an informed decision when selecting housing.

Information will also be provided on the register about the tenure of the specialist older persons housing, i.e. whether the development provides:

• Private sale housing
• Shared ownership
• Affordable rental
• Private rental

The users of the register are likely to be:

• Someone looking for accessible housing for themselves in London
• Someone looking for accessible housing for another person, such as a family member, friend or someone they represent in London
• Someone looking for specialist older persons housing for themselves in London
• Someone looking for specialist older persons housing for another person, such as a family member, friend or someone they represent in London

It is anticipated that in Phase 2 of the project, the following will use the register:

• the GLA
• Developers of schemes including accessible housing and/or specialist older persons housing
• Registered providers, providers of specialist older persons housing, or those involved in managing housing schemes

Equality comments

Section 149(1) of the Equality Act 2010 provides that in the exercise of their functions, public authorities must have due regard to the need to:

• Eliminate discrimination, harassment, victimisation and any other conduct that is prohibited by or under the Equality Act 2010;
• Advance equality of opportunity between persons who share a relevant protected characteristic and persons who do not share it; and
• Foster good relations between persons who share a relevant protected characteristic and persons who do not share it.

The obligation in section 149(l) is placed upon the Mayor, as decision maker. Due regard must be had at the time a decision is being considered. The duty is non-delegable and must be exercised with an open mind.

Considering the obligations under section 149(1) of the Equality Act 2010, this project will provide individuals who are searching for accessible and adaptable, wheelchair user or specialist older persons housing in London with better access to a database of suitable housing developments and increases their knowledge of such housing being available in London. This therefore represents an anticipated positive impact specifically on disabled people, and older people.

The project will specifically benefit disabled people and older people. The register will assist in removing or minimising disadvantages suffered/ experienced by disabled and older people in accessing and finding suitable accommodation to meet their specific needs. The register will assist in ensuring that disabled or elderly people access housing which is suitable for their needs and incorporates specific design features or other features or facilities which are required.

Anticipated negative impacts: through easier access to data on specialist older persons and accessible housing, companies could use this to target marketing towards developments which are more likely to house disabled and older people. Some disabled or older people may see this as a negative impact i.e. they are more identifiable if it is easier to access information on the type of housing provided within the development where they live. The information is already publicly available; however, it could make it easier for companies to use it in this way. There is no way to avoid or safeguard against this whilst making the information as accessible as possible for as many people as possible.

This project will specifically benefit disabled people and older people who are interested in living in specialist older persons housing developments and is unlikely to be of a particular benefit for other protected characteristic groupings. The GLA have commissioned research on the ‘need’ for accessible housing and specialist older persons housing- which has been published on the draft London Plan website under https://www.london.gov.uk/sites/default/files/gla_older_persons_housing_....

Other considerations

This project will be led by the London Plan team, working with and involving Housing and Land Directorate and Digital Team (external affairs) colleagues, and work will be undertaken in-house as much as possible. However external services will need to be procured, which will be handled by TfL Commercial with the input of the Digital Team, once approval for this project has been granted.

a) key risks and issues

This project is achievable with existing data available through the LDD which is run by the London Plan team, therefore minimising risks in terms of access to data. However, the data available is limited by the scope of the LDD which will ‘cap’ functionality of this tool. Further development of this tool could be assisted by changes to the 1app planning application form (nationally) to ensure that data is automatically captured at planning submission stage on the levels of M4(2), M4(3) and specialist older persons housing which are proposed. This would be out of the GLA’s control and dependent on negotiations with the Ministry of Housing Communities and Local Government.

b) links to Mayoral strategies and priorities

London Plan and EiP

The London Plan requires the development of assessible housing and specialist older persons housings. The proposed register will identify where these developments are located, thus is related to the current London Plan policy requirement. The development of a London wide register of specialist older persons and accessible housing may help support at the forthcoming Examination in Public(EiP) specific draft London Plan policies such as D5 Accessible housing and H15 Specialist older persons housing.

At previous London Plan EiPs (including the 2015 minor alterations process) the Planning Inspectorate questioned what the GLA was doing to ensure that disabled people could access the accessible housing being created via London Plan policy requirements (previously Policy 3.8 Housing choice). This project helps address such questions and will assist with the effective implementation of the London Plan policy requirements.

London Housing Strategy

The London Housing Strategy highlights the importance of London’s housing enabling older and disabled Londoners to lead independent and fulfilling lives (para 5.7) and to allow for this a range of options need to be available for older people including options which allow them to live independently in their own home. Paragraph 5.32 of the strategy states that the Mayor will “enhance the London Development Database, so that Londoners can identify homes being developed that are wheelchair accessible or easily adaptable, or designated for older people.”

This project supports these aims.

Mayor’s equality, diversity and inclusion strategy ‘Inclusive London’

Highlights the importance of “Improving the range of housing available will help to address the particular accommodation challenges some groups face, including older and disabled Londoners.

GDPR implications

There are no anticipated GDPR implications as this will not involve the processing of any personally identifiable information.

c) impact assessments and consultations

No formal consultation required, however user testing will take place during each phase of development process.

Financial comments

Assistant Director’s approval is sought for expenditure of £40,000 to fund the development of a register of specialist older persons and accessible housing. This work is to be phased over 2 phases where phase 1 is expected to cost £30,000 and is to be completed by November 2018. Phase 2 is to cost £10,000 and will be delivered by November 2019. Planning team’s London Plan Programme budget for 2018-19 (£30,000) and 2019-20 (£10,000) will fund the cost of this register.

Activity table

Activity

Timeline

Procurement of contract

September 2018

Delivery Start Date [for project proposals]

September/ October

2018

Main milestones- delivery of Phase 1

1st November 2018

Interim evaluation of Phase 1

January- June 2018

Main milestones- delivery of Phase 2

1st November 2019

Final evaluation start and finish (self):

November- February 2019-2020

Delivery End Date [for project proposals]

November 2019

Project Closure: [for project proposals]

February 2020


Share this page